tv [untitled] March 24, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
pattern for the system, there are certain priorities applied. we were looking to preserve weekday commute our service for the bulk of our passengers. we were looking to minimize the blocks and red -- maximize revenue. crews and equipment are required, maximizing service to the heaviest used station. the other thing that we were looking at, the way the to minimize is by running trains faster. from san francisco to san jose in 70 minutes, we can turn them around and get them back up during the morning commute. helping us to reduce the staffing. the longer that it takes, the more crews that to meet. you cannot turn them around quickly enough to get back up. the service that we have been talking about is suspended from
gilroy. bringing out three trains in the morning, sending them down in the evening. it takes a whole crew. they do not come back. they cannot make another trip. we have had discussions about suspending service between san jose and san francisco. as we identified stations to close, we were looking at writer ship and revenue connections. some of the stations under consideration, bay shore, college park, south san francisco, hayward park, and santa clara. so, for 2012 we held a public hearing on march 3 where the board took testimony regarding a possible fare increase. a base fare increase of 25 cents was implemented on july 2.
we talked about parking increases. currently it costs $3 per day. we talked about raising that to $4 per day. we also looked at reduction issues like staffing expenses. march 3, the board held a public hearing and declared a fiscal emergency as that hearing. a number of people testified and identified a series of possible sources to help balance the budget for fiscal year 2012, including accepting funds as repayment of the right of way. we also discussed possibly diverting capital funds and redirecting operating funds as well as seeking preventative
maintenance. in terms of next steps, we continue discussions with member agencies. we continued to work with service fehr for 2012 and 2013. we will discuss a preliminary 2012 budget balancing plan at the april 7 meeting. this might include requests for the board to consider services that are something more than the trains that we have had public hearing on. probably less than the 86 trains that we currently run. in terms of timing, we wish to implement these service changes that need to start. it took -- it takes about three months the four months. the next step will look at the preliminary balanced budget in
may or june. summer of 2011, implementing fare changes, as we continue to work with our shareholders on the transit sustainability project. that concludes my presentation. i am happy to answer any questions. supervisor elsbernd: the question for you. in terms of fiscal year 2012 and its operating budget, you mentioned that santrans has a proposed reduction. is that the way that it works? one takes the lead and everyone else follows? >> it is up to each individual organization to decide. santrans and others, if they choose not to that has been the historical pattern as each partner has matched the changes
in contribution. >> can you explain the formulas for determining contribution from san francisco versus pta? >> it has changed over time, but originally in the late 90s it was based on an a.m. formula. in late 2005 the numbers were moving around too late to increase the contributions, so it was frozen. the theory being -- where you sleep is to contribute on behalf. supervisor elsbernd: is there any analysis on how it would impact different regions? is it across the board impacting all of the regions equally?
>> one item that we have not finished is a title fix analysis to make sure that none of the adjustments are discriminatory in nature against different types of writers. that work is underway now. we could increase the recommendation that is that makes to the board. where it might be biased in some way. >> at the gilroy station is something that would not impact travel further to the south and love you gave the criteria for determining which stations. is there any more comment before those final decisions are made? >> the board will take comment again at the april meeting before any action is considered.
>> -- supervisor mar: there have been a number of outside the board meetings on the issue. supervisor elsbernd: i know that there is a group opposed riders who are starting -- a group of riders who are starting to mobilize. some people are proposing whether or not that is realistic, can you comment? >> a number of stakeholders are proposing different long-term and short-term proposals for help train. in the short term we have worked with funding partners to see if we can craft a package for revenue for the system and in
sustainability with the project. since beginning discussions is the long term. they have proposed raising fares. which we have proposed. those have been some of the areas for the short-term. >> any other questions, colleagues? >> looking at the perspective here in san francisco and the response to these questions at the board meeting, one question that we had was what is the
impact on san francisco? the cast was intuitive. the transportation network, not surprisingly, which is being couched for extremely cut service in some extreme scenarios. it will not disrupt service. we would also see impacts on the increased freeway traffic and spillover into the arterioles. it would significantly impact the competitiveness of san francisco economically. without replacing our transit
system. if you want to comment, they are in a difficult position where they have to negotiate with three entities each year. to a lesser extent the others seemed to follow suit. there is no question that there is a need for a dedicated offerings -- operating source that needs to be a regional solution. i know that in your other capacity i appreciate your particular challenges of this happening at this time, although it offers opportunities because all of the operators in the region, one of the reasons they are leading the project is they're looking at ways to
perhaps achieve administrative consolidation for certain specific work. just to try to see if we can incentivize and that one of the ones on the table is the regional gas tax. toss it never has there very well with the voters, and we cannot put all of our eggs in one basket. it will not be a slam-dunk. a couple of other things to keep in mind. mta has a significant deficit on its own. everyone else will be looking for revenues at the same time. it is also interesting to see the mtc has come up with an estimate, about $240 million, as being the size of the structural deficit of the regional transit operators regionwide.
if a 10-cent gas tax were approved, that would generate about $300 million. the wisdom generally is that it cannot be a purely transit measure. you have to take a chunk of the money out and give it to roads or something. again, we have to be strategic about what source we go after and not count on one particular source as bailing us out. i wanted to make another comment about short-term and long-term solutions. everybody is scraping the barrel to provide maintenance. the one part we did quibble with and more strongly we would not support is the diversion of funds from electrification to fill the short term--- short term--- short-term gap. electrification, as we
understand it, and i'm sure commissioner elsbernd can speak to it more clearly, is either going to be the silver bullet or gold bullet for caltrain in the future. it gives them the ability to increase speeds, save on fuel costs. basically increase ridership and decrease operating costs. it is sort of the win-win solution. so we are advocating for that both in terms of not diverting funds for the short-term solution but also in the regional transportation plan. we just did a presentation for the plans and programs committee and feel it is very important that the project be funded and see if there are ways we can advance construction of the project. supervisor mar: thank you, and we are joined by our chair, ross mirkarimi as well. is there anyone in the public that would like to speak? let me try to remember -- two minutes per person.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. regional planning. spr -- regional planning director at spr. i wanted to make up for your quick points about this. first is kind of to build on a couple of things. caltrain is fundamentally essential to both the economy and environment on a local and regional scale. we think about that map connecting san francisco to gilroy, that is literally the kind of connection and silicon valley. this rail line is the physical linkage between the various cities and communities of silicon valley, and too much of that geography has not been around trains. we are trying to change that for the next generation, trying to envision a bay area much more built around our transit network. you cannot do that without caltrain. we think about the shuttle's a
lot of people are taking from the city, they are taking those to the big companies. so people working smaller companies or the ones working at stanford are the ones relying on caltrain. second, we know the cuts would be devastating. san francisco obviously has to step up and put money in as well as the other agencies to find a short-term fix. third, we are very supportive of the short-term fix, but we have to devise time to develop a longer-term solution. the final point i want to make is that we are working on a white paper we will be issued shortly on those solutions, both on the governance structure and also the physical structure. we have to find a sustainable funding source, but also, this is not the way to run a train system. it becomes an orphan of existing agencies. there is a number of ideas out there that we will be presenting
and working on with a group of stakeholders around finding those, and i encourage you to maintain your encouragement and push to make sure that they fund this on a regular basis. thank you very much. >> i am here today as chair of the mission bay citizens advisory committee, and representing the mission bay cac on what we call the ball park mission bay transportation coordinating committee. two things -- first, electrification is a critical issue in mission bay. we are dealing with diesel trains that separate our neighborhood from the rest of the city. please continue to support funding of electrification. second, if the number of trains, particularly daytime trains, particularly game day trains,
are reduced, we are not going to park our way out of this. we're losing three parking lots that are used by the giants now at the end of this season. we cannot afford to have cars from the peninsula coming up to the neighborhoods and not having a place to park. we have got to keep the train service. there is no alternative for these people other than driving, and that is going to be a disaster for the city. please, what ever you can do, keep those trains running. thank you. >> i'm here on behalf of the
many san francisco residents who commute by caltrain and on behalf of the many san francisco members and friends of caltrain. i teach at stanford university and commit to stanford daily by caltrain. caltrain is what makes it possible to live in san francisco. teaching, like many professions in the modern world, is not a 9:00 to 5:00 job. we need caltrain to run in the evenings. otherwise, we will have to drive, which is more dangerous and bad for the environment. caltrain has done a fine job of wooing people out of their cars over the past few years. it is less than an hour for me, and a lot of us have realized that caltrain is competitive with driving with regard to time and better for the environment. if caltrain cut service in the short term, you will lose some of the riders you have worked so hard to get.
a key question is -- how do we get from here to there with a strong ridership base intact? let's make short-term decisions that support long-term goals by keeping evening service. san francisco needs to take a leadership role. take the lead in ending this tit-for-tat budgeting calculus. it does not serve residents or the city's overall best interests. i hope san francisco will support caltrain to the fullest extent possible. supervisor mar: thank you. >> i live in san francisco, and i worked in the public health field, and i take caltrain when i go for meetings and i take it frequently when i meet up with
friends. i do not have a car. i have numerous friends who bike to caltrain every day to go down to the peninsula including a friend who is an english as a second language teacher, and he also does not have a car. i wanted to mention a couple of reasons why i think caltrain is so important. i believe it encourages walking and bicycling to trains, and i think there are a number of common good reasons including lower carbon dioxide emissions, better air quality. it is also an affordable option for people who cannot afford to drive a. and it decreases traffic for people who must drive, and it lowers gas costs for drivers because the commute is shorter. as far as solutions, i would recommend deferring any cuts and keeping all trains running until may until an emergency two-year
solution is worked out. i am committed to advocate for the long term funding for caltrain if short-term solutions are found now. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. please come forward. >> hello. i live in the mission terrace neighborhood of san francisco, and i'm here because i am concerned about potential cuts to caltrain. i have a lot of concerns about many things about it, but i wanted to give you the point of view of someone who lives here, and my husband commutes by caltrain and what it means to us personally. three years ago, we got rid of our second car. we both were working on the peninsula at the time. my husband currently commutes to menlo park. like many jobs, his job is not regular hours. he has normal daytime hours, but sometimes he has to stay late. we are very concerned about
cutbacks to later night service and him being stranded at the office. that would be pretty bad. we are also really worrying about having to buy a second car to be able to both be employed. we have even started thinking about moving out of the city because most of our work is on the peninsula. the timing is also particularly bad in the short run because of the recession. it has had an impact on our household finances. that is our short-term concern. longer term, we are interested in and concerned about the attractiveness and productivity of san francisco as a place to live. one of the key reasons we moved here from the peninsula was public transportation. we have seen our 26-bus canceled. we are not -- we're now hearing about train service being threatened, and we hope we will find both a short-term and long- term solution to the continuing running of caltrain.
thank you. >> i am also a resident of san francisco. i have been writing caltrain -- riding caltrain since i first moved here. i have found it an enjoyable and efficient way to get to my job. it is wonderful. like other people here, it has allowed our family to have only one car in san francisco. i have definitely been impressed with the wavy -- the way the caltrain has improved over the years. i have seen great increases in ridership. i have seen lots of efficiency. i would hate to see any of that be lost in the short term. having cut out stations -- my
station is one of the ones being proposed to be eliminated -- would increase if i continue to try to bike -- it would increase my commit time by at least 10 minutes. i would have to be out of the office by 6:00. if i got a flat on the way to the train station, i could not get home. i would have to call my wife to pick me up with our two kids to bring me back up. we probably would have to get a second car. caltrain is remarkably efficient, like a said. i hate to see any of that disappear. reliability is the cornerstone of any public infrastructure projects. i definitely agree with the electrification, and not reducing funding to electrification. but also, to hear people talk
about taking away maintenance money -- often, when i am on the train, which is definitely more than i would like, there are trained failures, and you get stuck on the track for more than an hour because the train has broken down -- supervisor mar: thank you. >> sir, i have a question for you. you said that you had -- that your station would be close. can you tell me what station that is? >> it is lawrence station. there is a big gap. lawrence and santa clara would both be closed under the current proposal. >> [inaudible] >> i'd bite -- i bike to fourth and king. supervisor mar: it looks like the san francisco station that is under consideration for
closure, of the seven stations is bay shore, that is a san francisco station. ok. >> it is technically in san mateo county, but it predominantly serves san francisco. >> i did not prepare any remarks. i'm just going to speak extemporaneously. there is an image that caltrain is for a lot of insufferable yet these to go down to the peninsula -- a lot of insufferable yuppies to go down to the job on the peninsula, but you also have a lot of disadvantaged people. you have people who are gardeners' or day laborers or nurses or what have you who do not have cars and cannot afford cars, and they are the people who cannot show up at a meeting like this because they are working in the middle of the day. i just want to say that for
people like myself -- i do not have a car and do not want to get a car and the way i drive, you do not want me to get a car -- it would be devastating to not be able to take caltrain down to the peninsula. realistically, if i need to get down to mountain view or someplace like that for a job or for any purpose, santrans is not going to cut it. although the commuter. -- the 80% of the riders who are commuters are fairly important, other people depend crucially on the off hours. so thank you very much. >> good afternoon. i live in the mission. i go to mountain view because i
am a part-time consultant there. i used to live and work in mountain view, and i do moved up here because this is way more fun -- i moved up here because this is way more fun than mountain view is. i did it because caltrain made it possible. the thought of being up at 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. is not realistic for me. it would make living here very difficult. my friends on the peninsula, on weekends. they come up because they are not driving. they drink and bars. they go to restaurants. they party. that is all money we would lose if they were driving. that is one person not drinking, and that is a big person. [laughter] i did not have any prepared remarks. i just want you to please do what you can, and a lot of people live in san francisco take caltrain all the time and
rely on it. >> i have been living in san francisco for five years. all my family is in gilroy, so i ride the train down. just a touch on something that nobody else really touched on -- as far as facilitating bicycle movement, there is no other transportation aside from bart that really allows a lot of bicycles. there's only two bicycles per boss -- per bus. as far as cyclist that committed, that would really hamper that. thank you. >> thank you.